Another Award!

How crazy it’s not even been a week and I have been awarded a second Versatile Blogger Award! I really can’t believe it, it is so lovely to receive an award from other bloggers who recognise the effort you put into your blogs and your posts and in turn enjoy them!

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This is my second award . . . which I have now displayed on the right of my page underneath the first one!

I think the only ever thing I have ever won in my life was a silver medal for rhythmic gymnastics or I suppose if you want to call them awards my badges in brownies and girl guides . . . yes, ok, you get it I don’t win things or have many awards to my name! lol

The lovely blogger who gave me this second award . . .

Jo from www.thecommonmap.com

Please everyone go check out this fab blog from my new favourite Aussie!

And why she gave me my award?

‘Hey lady! Here‚Äôs another versatile award!

I really enjoy your blog and have learnt so much about skin care’

Zane xxxx

Just Married . . .

Hey guys and welcome to all my new followers! So it’s been a pretty hectic few days and I’ve just had no time to blog ūüė¶ I promise I do have a few topics and things to review up my sleeve I just need to find the time to get them written up for you all. I propose there should be 8 not 7 days in the week¬†. . . . and the eighth day – solely for blogging, crafting, baking and hobbies! Who’s with me?

On Monday I had an amazing day, not only was I off work for the Bank holiday but it was also the wedding of a lovely friend of mine.  The day was just perfect, so unique, young, fun, laid back and personal to both her and her new hubby!

Let me share with you some of the pictures from the big day (Louise and Alex I¬†hope you don’t mind)¬†. . .

My fabulous friend Christine did my hair

Me in the middle with my best friend and wifey Sarah on the right and her gorgeous mummy Debbie on the left.

#OOTD – Red dress (Florence and Fred), Gold heels (River Island), cream and metallic clutch (Unknown – a present) and the chucky necklace (Primark)

Gorgeous handmade confetti bouquets

The handsome Groom and beautiful Bride

Just married . . .

The gorgeous handmade table plan

The top table – I LOVED the handmade bunting!

Some personal and charity favours

The cake – so cute and personal and SO yummy, one of the best wedding cakes I have EVER had!

Check out Honeybee Cakes, I would 100% recommend¬†them, their cake¬†tasted¬†so yummy and you all know how much of a baking snob I can¬†be lol –¬†https://www.facebook.com/HoneybeeCakesBangor?fref=ts

The bride and groom’s first dance

Father and daughter dance

The candy bar

My pic n mix

And no wedding would be complete without the wedding booth!

Luckily for me Debbie’s hubby Malcolm is the photographer and his company owns the photo booth so I can contact him first hand but if you would like to hire it or for more information – https://www.facebook.com/FastImageBox?ref=profile

I would like to thank the beautiful bride and groom for such an amazing day, the wedding was just perfect and the whole day as so personal. I had a really lovely time and felt so honoured to be able to share in your special day!

Zane xxxx

And the Award goes to . . .

OMW I am so excited, shocked, proud, happy and chuffed that on the 20th August 2013 I was given my first blogger award after only 8 months of blogging!

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Who gave me this award I hear you ask . . . The lovely Elizabeth Ann from http://nellyandnoopy.wordpress.com/

SO WHAT HAPPENS NOW?

  • The rules are that you must post the award, and who nominated you for it on the post
  • You have to give 15 awards to 15 other bloggers that really deserve to receive it
  • Leave them a comment on their page to let them know that they have been nominated for this award
  • Then post 7 Amazing things about yourself, what makes you and your blog special!

AND IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER THE AWARD GOES TO . . .

(I have decided to award those bloggers who have inspired and helped me become the blogger I am now)

1 – http://www.fashionfloozy.co.uk/

My Photo

2 – http://sechysdiary.com/

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3 – http://lovebelfast.wordpress.com/

#LoveBelfast Page - Belfast, United Kingdom

4 – http://rubybijou.wordpress.com/

5 – http://frivolousfringe.com/

6 – http://blog.mjtrim.com/

7 – http://miss-eblog.blogspot.co.uk/

misseblog - personal beauty & fashion blog

8 – http://lovelifexoniamhaine.blogspot.ie/

Love Life ll Fashion, Beauty & Life Blog

9 – http://www.bargainhunterbyrne.com/

My Photo

10 – http://www.retrochick.co.uk/

11 – http://fashionforlunch.wordpress.com/

12 – http://www.bloglovin.com/frame?blog=6925375&group=0&frame_type=a&link=aHR0cDovL3d3dy5raXNzYW5kbWFrZXVwd2l0aG1lLmJsb2dzcG90LmllLw&frame=1&click=0&user=0

Kiss and Makeup with Me

13 – http://frecklesandthefox.blogspot.ie/

Freckles and the Fox

14 – http://www.bloglovin.com/frame?blog=2022064&group=0&frame_type=b&link=aHR0cDovL2dsYW1hbmRnbGl0dGVyZm9yZXZlci5ibG9nc3BvdC5jb20v&frame=1&click=0&user=0

15 – http://www.bloglovin.com/frame?blog=201982&group=0&frame_type=b&link=aHR0cDovL2N1cGNha2VzYW5kY2FzaG1lcmUuY29tLw&frame=1&click=0&user=0

HMM NOW THE HARD PART . . .

Seven ‘amazing’ things about myself and what makes me and my blog special

1 – I was rubbish at English at school and hated reading and writing with a passion – thanks to my blog I have a new found enjoyment for writing and dare I say I’m not too bad at it :s

2 – My blog is personal, scatty and random, a lot like myself.¬† It’s from the heart, about things that interest me and I support

3 – Through my blog I try to give back, i.e. highlighting local charities or important issues

4 –¬†I have an eclectic style which I share through my blogs

5 – My blog is open and honest like myself

6 – My blog helped me to get my life back after beating Cancer

7 –¬†My biggest obsessions are¬†with photography,¬†shoes, jewellery, nail polish, and baking!

Why not check out the bloggers on my inspirational awards list above ūüôā

If you could nominate one blog/blogger who would it be?

Zane xxxx

Sometimes it just calls for some Tough Stuff

Look what arrived for me the other day in the post . . . a new product from Cocoa Brown.

Now who like me have millions of exfoliating products which you use for say a week, then you put away to gather dust in your bathroom? Either because it worked ok, or because lets face it you can’t be bothered to exfoliate apart from that once in a blue moon time.

Yep just look a my collection . . . all with a slight layer of dust on them as they are very rarely used.

The odd time when I half the time and I feel like making the effort I will exfoliate, but have the time I really can’t be bothered, it takes too much effort too, and then no matter how much I shower off I always end up with grains and grit on me.

But when my Cocoa Brown prezzie arrived I really wanted to try it and I expected good things, as with the rest of Marissa‘s products!

You can see from the picture above I took some before and after pics.  I had a full tan on that was about 4 days old, so not that close to fading or coming off completely. Take a look at some of my INCREDIBLE before and after pics . . .

My chest

My legs

My arms

My foot/ankle

That bit under my arm (this is usually the hardest bit for me to get the tan off)

OMW look how white I actually am! Thank god for Cocoa Brown Tan is all I can say! I really didn’t think the results would be as good as this with such little effort.¬† You don’t need to rub in all these different directions, circles etc, you just need to rub up and down.¬† I didn’t need to apply an exfoliating mitt (which I would usually put on to use with the exfoliator) I did just what it said on the packet and rubbed gently up and down.¬† On the tougher areas, such as under my arm, my knees and lower legs I rubbed the Tough Stuff with a facecloth.

This was my light pink facecloth after exfoliation.

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So those are my results, now let me tell you a bit more about Cocoa Brown’s Tough Stuff itself . . .

Tough Stuff is a new exfoliator brought out by Marissa and her Cocoa Brown team, described as –

‘a no nonsense scrub for rough areas such as feet, ankles, knees, elbows and hands’

In each sachet you get 50ml of the product, I’d say I will get about 4 goes out of this as it really took the smallest amounts for each part of my body when I first tried it out.

No surprise Tough Stuff’s packing is pink but so is the product, it reminded me of the colour of a rich raspberry mousse.¬† Keeping in theme with the other Cocoa Brown products – 1hr tan and night and day, Tough Stuff also has the signature smell Tahitian Gardinia.

As well as smelling gorgeous it also felt fantastic on my skin, with extra small grains, a little like sand, which meant it exfoliated so well and comes off 100% with no residue once you shower it off.

Now¬†a warning to you all your skin will be a little red after exfoliation but this is perfectly normal, it’s just the oxygen getting into your blood and the blood flowing – not the fact that you have rubbed your skin raw (which yes I have done with exfoliators in the past).

Image from Cocoa Brown Facebook Page

In the South of Ireland you can buy it from Pennys, Boots, and a variety of pharmacies

http://www.cocoabrown.ie/beta/suppliers-and-retail-outlets/

For those in the North and in the UK you can buy it in Primark and online –¬†www.feeluniquie.com ¬†(2 for ¬£4.50),¬† www.cloud10beauty.com and www.amazon.com

AN ADDED BONUS

Marissa gave us some juicy news on Saturday at the Afternoon Tea – Tough Stuff will be hitting the shelves in a handy tube come October so no need to worry about keeping your Tough Stuff sealed and in a safe place so you don’t lose it!

I 100% recommend Tough Stuff, I give it ***** 5 stars and a definite 10/10!

Have you guys tried it yet, what do you think?

Zane xxxx

Time for a Soak

Ryan’s birthday is fast approaching but with both our work schedules it’s hard to find time to do things together or have the same day off. However last week was different both Ryan and I had Thursday off work so we headed up to Belfast to Tennant’s Vital to see one of our favourite bands Snow Patrol!

As an added bonus we also had the next day off too, so I planned an early birthday treat for him. Don’t you find boys are a NIGHTMARE to buy for and when you ask them what they would like . . . “em I don’t know, nothing” . . . Grr this drives me mad! So I decided to plan a fun day together, this is what I did when we first got together before we were an official couple and I didn’t have a clue what to get him.

That time we went to Dublin Zoo for the day and I made party food like a kid’s party to bring down to us. This year I decided on a Spa day and a yummy meal. Initially I had planned to stay quite local, go to a day spa and then to a restaurant I’ve been dying for Ryan and I to go to. However when I looked more into the day spa it really was not worth the money, yes it was cheaper than your usual spa’s in the Galgorm or Culloden, but for what they were offering I thought they were very over priced.

So I started searching online and came across something spa like, relaxing, different and well priced in Newcastle so decided to look into it and also some restaurants in the area. I contacted everyone, got reviews and recommendations from my friends on where to book and got it all booked . . .

Friday arrived and we set off from my house to Newcastle, about an hr and 15 minute journey and arrived at our destination . . .

Newcastle Co.down

We then drove through the town, along the promenade and parked up by the side of the road as the local car park was closed. Our final destination Soak Seaweed Baths.

This is the building where you can Soak, Soothe, Sip and Snooze.

First off were went for a Soak . . .

When we first walked in we were greeted by very friendly staff members. As they went and got our bath ready Ryan and I picked what music we wanted to listen to as we had forgotten to bring our own CD with us. I let Ryan chose, first choice was Bob Marley, to which my reply was 100% no way! Second and final choice was Damien Rice, nice, chilled out and relaxing.

We were brought down to our own private room (which had a lock on the door) which consisted of your shower/steam area, a large Victorian bath, towels, and a mirror . . .

The man then told us what to do and how the seaweed was fresh and clean (for more info check out the link at the end of this blog) he then said to us to fill up the bath as high as we wanted (all with filtered sea water), but as it was our first time not to have the water too hot. He then advised we steamed for 10-15 mins before getting into the bath then to sit in it and enjoy, then at the end to have a cool shower.

Ryan and I went for a joint bath, however you can do your own single bath if you are going alone or if you are going as a couple there is the option of your own bath each in the double room, you don’t have to share.

The bath was lovely and relaxing, a little weird as the water went slightly slimy on your skin, although not uncomfortable. Afterwards I noticed that my hands and toes were actually not like a prune and it was strange after you showered that your skin wasn’t still slippery soft, however it did really feel moisturised.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF THE BATHS?

‘The mineral-rich seaweed and hot seawater that make up a seaweed bath. The seaweed detoxifies your body and enriches your skin with vitamins A‚ÄĒK, giving you a natural glow.’

‘Many therapeutic benefits are attributed to seaweed bathing. Scientific studies have confirmed that seaweed bathing helps lower body stress and relieve skin conditions (psoriasis, eczema, acne etc). It has also been shown to be beneficial in the treatment of muscle aches and joint stiffness (rheumatism and arthritis), and excellent for some circulatory problems. Seaweed treatments are associated with body toning, slimming and the release of toxins. Indeed, the therapeutic merit of seaweed can be aptly described as one of nature’s timeless treasures, fostering beauty, balance and vitality.’

The second part of the treatment was for Ryan only, he went for a soothing treatment of a back, neck and scalp massage. He loved this and came out mega relaxed from it!

Whilst Ryan had his treatment I treated myself to a Sip treat of Earl Grey tea and a blueberry scone, which was absolutely delicious!

As I waited I also took some pictures from my comfy seat at the window of the reception area and view from the window . . .

Afterwards we were well and truly relaxed!

And I would have loved to have gone for a . . .

We had a great time and would definitely go back again!

Check out some of Soak‘s special offers – http://www.soakseaweedbaths.co.uk/soak/specials.html

For more information on Soak, Soothe, Sip and Snooze check out their website . . .

http://www.soakseaweedbaths.co.uk/index.html

‘LIKE’ them on Facebook . . .

https://www.facebook.com/SOAKseaweedbaths?fref=ts

That wasn’t the end of Ryan’s birthday treat . . .

We had fun in the amusements and we were definitely the oldest two on the dodgems without a child!

Then we went on to dinner, I had asked my friends for restaurants they recommended in Newcastle and this one came up as my favourite, there was loads on their menu that both Ryan and I would eat and it was also well priced. I booked our table for 5.30pm but ended up being so hungry we ended up turning up at 5pm, however this was not a problem.

The restaurant I chose was Villa Vinci, on the main road in Newcastle. When we arrived we were greeted by a very friendly, authentically Italian ma√ģtre d and some amazing smells from the kitchen.

As I said there was loads of food from the menu that both Ryan and I liked!

Ryan went for a starter of scallops and chorizo

I went for the breaded brie and a red onion chutney

For his main, Ryan went for the salmon and champ (he would have preferred the sauce on the side, but will know to ask that the next time)

I had chicken stuffed with a mild feta cheese and sundried tomatoes, wrapped in Parma ham and served with orzo pasta and pesto.

Our food was to die for! So yummy and actually really filling too, I ended up bringing the end of my orzo home with me. Of course I had a good nosey around the restaurant and the food other people had looked amazing too, (wow my mouth is watering as I’m writing this).

Ryan and I will most definitely be back!

Check out their website and book yourself a table!

http://villavinci.co.uk/

Have you ever had a seaweed bath before? Or have you tried Villa Vinci? Let me know your opinions! ūüôā

Zane xxxx

Lovely Lady Afternoon Tea

I was so excited last week to receive an invite from Cocoa Brown Tan and Marissa Carter for afternoon tea down in¬† the Radisson Blu St. Helen’s Hotel, Dublin¬†‚ÄstStillorgan Road¬†Blackrock¬†County Dublin to meet with Marissa and her team and my fellow Irish bloggers.

Saturday 17th August had finally arrived!

I had hunted through my wardrobe for something pink and well this was as pink as I could get.

Dress – M&S Limited Collection from last summer.

Mum decided she would head down to Dublin with me and meet up with her childhood friend Judith whilst I went for my afternoon tea.¬† A big first for mum too, driving the whole way to Dublin/Malahide.¬† We arrived in Malahide and went straight to Judith’s, it was great to see her and very luckily for me she agreed to take me to the hotel. This was a godsend as I had no idea AT ALL where I was going and being over the border I didn’t have the option of good old google maps on my phone (roaming and internet rates are crazy!!)

We arrived at the hotel and I was blown away it was massive, so grand and stunning!

Just look at the gorgeous garden at the front of the hotel!

I was about 5 minutes late as we had got a little lost, but that was no problem as I was not the only one lol.  As I went in I was greeted by Marissa, can I just say she is even more beautiful in real life! She greeted me with a hug and a smile and made me feel so welcome.  The room was packed with loads of other bloggers all looking stunning in their pink and dressed up outfits.

Doesn’t everyone look gorgeous? I sat down beside some lovely girls and fellow bloggers (I will most definitely be doing a blog to introduce you all to them) Niamh, Eimear, Dawn and Anita.

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 This was Dawn, Eimear and myself.

This was the menu we were greeted with and just have a look at the dainty, scrummy treats that we were served . . .

I tried an egg sandwich, a fruit scone and one of the choc coffee triangles and a chocolate macaroon.  All were absolutely amazing, everything was so fresh and full of flavour, by far one of the best afternoon teas I have ever tasted!

This was the chocolate/coffee like tiramisu treat I had, it was so yummy and look how cute are the Cocoa Brown initials on the top!

Marissa then got up to talk. She thanked us all for coming and the support she has received from all the bloggers.¬† Marissa also gave some on the spot prizes and gave us some fantastic news (we were the first to be told, and don’t worry I shall tell you in an upcoming blog).

Once Marissa had made her speeches we all went back to having a chat and Marissa came round and chatted to all of us. She was so down to earth and just a lovely, genuine person, who deserves all the success she has gained and I know will gain in the future!

All the¬†members of Marissa‘s team who where at the tea came around and chatted to us all, it was so nice to also get to know them and they really took an interest in us all and were just so, so lovely!

This is Sarah (Brand Manager), Marissa and Ashling (Beauty Salon Sales & Promotions Manager)

Dotted around the tables were these cute little cards . . .

All with little quotes on them.

Here are some other pictures I took around the room . . .

Alongside the gorgeous afternoon tea that was put on for us we also received a sachet of Tough Stuff (I have a review just ready and waiting to show you on this amazing product), a No7 goodie bag from Boots with 50 euro worth of makeup, a 10% of Saba restaurant voucher and a Cocoa Brown phone cover for the iphone.

As I don’t have an iphone and wouldn’t get the use out of the Saba voucher I gave them to Judith.

When we left we were all able to get a picture with the lovely Marissa . . .

CBAfternoonTea

Have a look at the goodie bag . . .

I can’t wait to use these products and of course I will show you all!

_________________________________

My afternoon spent with Marissa and her Cocoa Brown team alongside the other bloggers was fantastic and well worth the 2 hour drive to and from Dublin.  I felt privileged to be invited and to meet such lovely people and overall to feel like part of a community.  Marissa is one of the nicest people I have met and I wish her every bit of the success she has and will gain, it is a total pleasure knowing her!

I hope you all enjoyed this blog and I hope I didn’t make you too jealous of my wonderful day!

Check out some of these links for the products and places featured . . .

The Radisson Blu St Helens Hotel – http://www.radissonblu.ie/sthelenshotel-Dublin

Saba restaurant – http://www.sabadublin.com/

Boots No7 – http://www.boots.com/en/No-7/

Cocoa Brown – http://www.cocoabrown.ie

Zane xxxx

Breaking news!!!!

Big news in the little village of Ballyholme!

After at least 20 years we finally have a take away!!!!

To most this is not big news at all but for a little village like ours which let’s say has it’s fair share of oldies and snobs this is a big thing! There had been talk years before of chip shops opening, but no apparently the residents all kicked up and didn’t approve . . . pppft!

Sunday night – Tonight – 18th August 2013 was opening night.

As I drove down (yes I was mega lazy tonight) Ballyholme was packed, no where to park (not really a surprise) and the street was packed.¬† Everyone and it’s Granny were down at the new Chinese, as I went in there were people waiting outside and at least 15 inside, I don’t think I have ever been in a Chinese take away so packed!

Now I have to say there was quite a bit of a wait but that was to be expected, opening night, the shop was packed with a constant flow of customers and also phone orders. The staff literally didn’t stop the whole time and were working their butts off.¬† However, of course we had some of the local ‘snobs’ in, I don’t care if I’m sounding rude calling them that, but how they got on was very snobby and just plain rude!

Giving off at how long they were having to wait (1 – it’s just new open 2 – you could clearly see how busy it was before you even went in and placed your order 3 – the staff were clearly working their butts off, we could all see this over the counter).¬† Then saying how when they go to Ballywalter for their Chinese they never have to wait more than 10 mins (who gets their takeaway at least 20 mins from where you live?!) Also that it of course wouldn’t be as nice as the chow mein they had eaten in Hong Kong!

Sitting waiting this just riled me! I really hoped that the staff could not hear what they were saying, it was so rude and disheartening in my opinion! I really had to bite my tongue and say “hey give over and give them a break, if you don’t like it leave!”

Rant over let me show you what I got and my opinion on it

I ordered the shredded chicken in honey, chilli and garlic with half chips, half rice, which came to £6.40.

The smell was fantastic as soon as I opened the tub, although being the wimp that I am I was a little worried that it would burn the mouth off me . . . thankfully I was wrong and it was delicious with a perfect heat!

The portion size was perfect not a tiny amount and not a massive portion and everything was cooked to perfection.  I most definitely have to say this is by far the best Chinese I have had in a LONG while!

There was also a couple of fortune cookies in my bag . . . I love these and you NEVER get them, this may well be a one of for opening day but I thought it was a lovely touch!

So to all the staff in Ba Won, Ballyholme . . .

–¬†congratulations on your opening night!

– your food was gorgeous I will definitely be back!

– the place looked great!

– the staff were genuine and friendly and worked their butts off!

IGNORE THOSE IMPATIENT PEOPLE WHO RANTED AND RAVED!

YOU DID A GREAT JOB!

THANK YOU!!

So to my friends/followers and readers if you are close by or can make it down I 100% recommend that you try Ba Won Asian Cuisine on the Groomsport Road in Ballyholme and treat yourself to something yummy!!!

Phone Number – 028 9145 1888

Zane xxxx